About Me

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Near the Beach in Florida, Florida, United States
I am a Middle School Math Teacher. I have been teaching for 24 years. (oh my!) Teaching 6th Graders keeps me very young at heart. I live near the beach in Florida, and enjoy my family and pets. I am a very tech savvy person and like electronic gadgets.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Christmas 2011

Gilliamsen Christmas

I don’t know how to start this year’s letter to everyone. It is usually very easy for me to tell you all what the past year has been like. This year was full of ups and downs emotionally for all in our family. Without my mom here, it’s just not the same. The photo above is from last year (Dec 10, 2010) Wreaths Across America Ceremony. The Cemetery was absolutely breathtaking. I went to this year’s Ceremony, but do not have a picture like the one above.
Okay, I will start with Dad. Have you heard of the movie “That Darn Cat!”? Well, Boo Boo, Mom’s cat got out one day while dad was on the deck playing with Gunny (the black lab). Dad thought he could just shoo him back inside with his cane but that didn’t go so well. I was on the phone with him when I lost the call. I called him back and got no answer, so I jumped in the car and headed over to his house. I found an ambulance and fire and rescue in front of the house. Dad had fallen on his face on the back patio. Literally, on his face! He ended up with a nose that was broken in 3 places, a broken cheek bone and a gash across his eyebrow and bridge of his nose. He really looked horrible! He is healing well, but every once in a while I will hear him say “That Darn Cat!” Gunny has found a place on dad’s bed at night and is quite happy there. I am happy to report that the cancer on his kidney is gone and has not returned. Prayers were answered.
Dad misses his true love each and every day and at times it is very difficult for him. He is thankful for friends and family who are giving him strength to heal his broken heart.
Kim and her family are doing well. Kim retired and is enjoying staying home at the moment and being involved with the girls and their school activities. Both the girls, Kathryne (a sophomore this year) and Virginia (the freshman) are in the band. Neil was there for all the football games with the girls. Kim even worked a couple of Jaguar Football games to fundraise for the band program. Both girls are in the IB program at their High School and are doing really well. Kathryne is taking Driver’s Ed and loves it when she gets “the truck”. It won’t be long until Virginia is driving. Kathryne is taking Latin and loves it, and Virginia is taking Latin and really doesn’t like it. Both girls are active in their Youth Group and took a Mission trip to New York City. I can’t believe how fast they are growing up!
Lissa and her kids, Paul and Katelyn are still in Miami. Lissa is teaching at South Miami High School. Paul is a senior this year and is applying to several Military Institutions along with other Colleges. (Can you say, PROUD GRANDPA?) He still plays baseball and Scouts are watching him, so we will see what happens. Katelyn is a sophomore this year and has become quite the photographer. Her photos are amazing and she has a talent that could take her places. Katelyn also enjoys working with her Church Youth Group.
That leaves me. I am teaching Intensive Math this year to 6th, 7th and 8th graders and find it very challenging but rewarding when I see the “light bulb” go off and a student “gets it”. I have been working on losing weight and am proud to say that I am 30lbs lighter and 2 sizes smaller. I am struggling with plantar fasciitis for over a year and have found a little relief (dad researches for me to try different things). I am hoping one day I will wake up and be able to walk without any pain.
Dad and I have dinner every Friday at my apartment. We watch a little TV, he cooks (even brings the food to cook) and we drink a little wine. My Lab, Jaxson loves him and the cats are starting to come out to greet him when he comes over.
That’s been our year. I hope your year has been wonderful and your Holidays are full of love, good health, laughter and family. Please keep in touch.

God Bless~

The photo here is from this year’s Wreath Ceremony at Jacksonville National Cemetery. I had just put her Wreath there. Mom is at rest in the lower right corner.